“Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”
~ Albert Einstein
Every now and then, I am drawn into another realm, a wonderous and boundless kingdom where the only factor limiting the possibilities is the scope of my thoughts. I don’t need to go anywhere physically to enter this other world. I could be sitting on my outdoor lounge beneath the sun, or at the beach digging in the sand with my children as they play near the shore. I could even be punching the letters on my keyboard, just as I did when producing this article. It doesn’t matter where I am or what I’m doing, I always have access to this rich and magical endowment that I can channel anytime and anywhere I choose – my imagination.
Our imagination is one of the greatest gifts we are given and it is as intertwined with the beautiful mystery of life as the certainty of the sun rising at dawn tomorrow. We can’t touch it or taste it, and we can’t hear it or smell it. There are no scientific analytics or mathematical formulas to support its existence, yet we all know it’s there – the invisible thoughts lifting us up and transporting us to other places.
It is imagination that forms the cornerstone of ingenuity. It is essential for the continued evolution of humanity and it is the foundation of all creation.
In his series of texts in The marriage of Heaven and Hell, the 18th century intuitive poet William Blake made this wry comment: “What is now proved was once only imagin’d.” As you consider the simplicity of these words of wisdom and allow them to seep into your essence, your imagination will begin to kick into action.
Take a look around. Everything you see and all you experience with your physical senses emerged from somebody else’s imagination. For something to exist in this world, it must first be anchored firmly into your imagination. Without this perpetual resource, life becomes stifled and creativity is halted.
During his lifetime, Blake was largely considered an outlier for the mystical undercurrents expressed through his creativity – and that’s a nice way of putting it. Yet Blake is now recognized as a seminal figure in the history of poetry for his rich symbolism that embraces imagination as “human existence itself”.
However, William Blake wasn’t alone in his radically insightful views. Throughout the ages, virtually all spiritual teachings speak of the power of imagination; and that invisible formless realm has been bestowed upon you as your birthright.
Our lives today mostly encompass a combination of fast-moving experiences strung together by a series of innovative moments playing out on the leading edge of existence. These are exciting times where revolution appears commonplace, in the form of the technology infiltrating every field from fast food to finances. We’re closer together yet further apart thanks to the internet, and each generation contends with profound social, economic and technological transformations.
A fast-track life with the world at your fingertips can often mean a ceaseless internal merry-go-round spinning around the edges of your soul. It can be overwhelming and stressful, and sometimes we lose sight of the important stuff like love, sacred connections and that beautiful essence peering out from behind your cagey eyeballs.
So, while you’re taking that look around at everything that was once in someone else’s imagination, ask yourself if you’ve neglected your own. Have you left it at the threshold of adulthood to gather the dust of the passing years? Or perhaps your deadlines have highjacked it along with your mortgage repayments.
Maybe. Maybe not.
No one could blame you if you have temporarily misplaced your wild imagination. We are in an age swamped with selfies and Instagram, little Tweets here, and bigger Tweets there. Did someone mention Snapchat? Yeah, I just heard the teenager throw me some backchat.
Your entire life is probably now chronicled on Facebook and you just must keep up with the latest cat memes and viral diarrhea – right?
You’ll also need to remember to pay your bills on time, feed your kids after dance class, follow the rules, and for heaven’s sake – who let out the damned cat? Catch a little Netflix before bed. You may manage something more, if you last that long, because you’re so tired working your butt off to meet the responsibilities that are mounting up somewhere around your hairline, that you feel like your brain will begin to emulsify through your ears.
Meanwhile, you have convinced yourself that it’s completely normal for your eight-year-old to watch adults play with Kinder Surprise toys and Frozen figurines on YouTube just so you can grab a quick five minutes alone and gather your whirling thoughts.
Okay. I might be exaggerating a little. Maybe that scenario doesn’t exactly apply to all of us, or all the time. The point is, most of us are so busy, our childlike imagery often becomes a distant memory we seldom entertain, excluding those Kinder Surprise-playing-grown-ups on YouTube, of course.
In his wonderful book, Wishes Fulfilled, Wayne Dyer says, “Today, quantum physics confirms the universe is made up of formless (spirit) energy, and that particles (that is, things) do not originate from particles.” Meaning everything springs from something akin to your imagination.
Think about that for a moment. I bet while contemplating those words something deep within you recognizes the truth. It certainly gets my inner-bells chiming, especially when considering this observation made by the father of quantum physics, Max Plank: “Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are part of nature and, therefore, part of the mystery that we are trying to solve.”
I don’t know about you, but when I first read those words something unfurled and soared through my being at the realization that science cannot take us through the doors of the divine, no matter how hard we knock. The truth is we are as mysterious and beautiful as life itself, and the power of creation is within all of us. It’s within the places you choose to take your thoughts, and the ideas that seemingly spring from nowhere. And it lives, thrives and breathes through our stories.
Beneath my author name that appears on the banner on my website is the tagline “stories that transcend”. I chose that phrase because I believe story is the perfect instrument in which to nurture the endless creativity of imagination, and I believe it is through story that we can help make the world a better place.
It is particularly true that through fantasy and paranormal storytelling that authors can transport readers to other worlds brimming with magical wonders and spectacular ideas – stories born through the creative forces of imagination that provide an outlet to escape from the demands of modern life as we begin to consider the “what if?”.
Yet, as we ponder the magnificence of stories and imagination, and the escapism they provide to our busy lives, there’s something more at play here. It’s a golden opportunity to snatch back those moments when you dressed up in your favorite super-hero costume and flung yourself off the garage roof; or to reclaim those times when you lost yourself in a world of make-believe that felt so real, you couldn’t quite figure out the difference between the parallel realities. Nor did you want to.
So, as you turn the pages of a great fantasy, paranormal romance or sci-fi book and immerse yourself in the characters, a tiny spark ignites the dormant embers of your own imagination, in turn reminding you of your own childlike imagery.
Then something happens – the story ends.
Once you’ve read the last line and your fleeting visit to a fictional world has come to an end, you’re often confronted with the reality of your life. The enchanting tendrils of fantasy begin to fade as the weight of the “real world” sets in. Too soon does the inspiration of a great story merge with the internal merry-go-round until it’s lost somewhere in the gray matter of your brain.
But what if you chose to hold on to that feeling? What if you internalized it just a little longer until you have convinced yourself for a few magnificent moments that anything is possible? And what if you danced with the galaxy twinkling beneath your rational thoughts till your essence soared like the inner-child playing make-believe?
Reading the words strung together to form a story created by someone else’s imagination, unknowingly gives us permission to unleash our own. But it’s when we really take the time to ponder this greatest of gifts that we realize the limitless possibilities that abound in us.
Through the mystical chords of imagination, story will help save the world. It is through transcending beyond your daily responsibilities and releasing your imagination that you will expand and enrich your own life.